43 days (give or take a few hours).
Give that man a Heisman.
The eight-person Heisman Trust board will meet next week to determine not if Reggie Bush was the best player in college football in 2005, but whether the Southern Cal running back should keep his award signifying him as such.
The answer is a clear and resounding no, in both cases.
Vince Young was better that season, as he ultimately proved on that January night in Pasadena when Texas also won the national championship. He should receive the trophy retroactively because Bush deserves to be stripped of the honor after not upholding the values and ideals that the most prestigious award in all of sports embodies.
This problem isn't going away.
Florida coach Urban Meyer called agent malfeasance an "epidemic" on Wednesday. Alabama coach Nick Saban compared agents -- presumably not his own -- to the men who supervise prostitutes. SEC commissioner Mike Slive spoke of a need to change the NCAA's rules regarding agents from an enforcement model to an assistance model.
Three powerful men, essentially powerless to fight a group that works in the shadows and passes cash to players more seamlessly than the greasiest booster ever dreamed. In almost any other facet of college football, the coaches of the past two BCS champions and the commissioner of one of the nation's most powerful and lucrative conferences could affect change with a wave of the hand or with a nod of the head. But against the agents, the financial advisors and the runners, they can do nothing.
SEC coaches aren't the only ones concerned about agents.
“It’s all over the country,” Stoops told the Tulsa World in a telephone interview Thursday. “It’s been happening and it continues to get worse.”
Stoops echoed the sentiments of his colleague at Alabama, Nick Saban, who said on Wednesday the current system needs reevaluating. Saban said the same agent who got one of his players in trouble two years ago was still lurking — still apparently offering cash to players — because the agent was never penalized.
The NCAA has always cared about the influence of agents.
Oh, who am I kidding? The NCAA hasn't always cared about this. Not even close. The NCAA cared about agents like the average person cares about a single weed in the front yard: Sees it. Doesn't like it. Wishes it weren't there. But not about to get off the couch and do anything about it.
Meh. That was the NCAA's reaction to agents. Don't believe me? I can point to a flourishing patch of poison ivy to prove it, starting with Tank Black, the former sports agent who pumped so much money into the Florida football program that he was caught by the feds and sentenced to prison for seven years.
Black gave money to Jevon Kearse. He gave money to Mike Peterson. He gave money to Johnny Rutledge. He gave ... well, look. Maybe it would be easier to list the Gators he didn't shower with money. Point is, here's what the NCAA did to Florida:
That was not unanimous.
The Big 12 might want to issue a correction — albeit a small and pretty darned meaningless one — about the media being unanimous in picking Nebraska’s football team to win the Big 12 North.
I didn’t pick the Cornhuskers — though given that Missouri plays at Nebraska, I probably should have and probably would now.
A call to the Big 12 office produced a very nice apology:
“Thanks, Mike. Sorry about the poll. All I can guess is it was either misplaced once I printed it off or the intern who assisted me accidentally miscalculated points. I’ll make sure your votes are counted for the preseason team.”
Tom Osbourne can't wait to get out of the Big 12.
Nebraska isn't waiting until next year to get involved in the Big Ten.
Athletic director Tom Osborne will be at the league's preseason meetings in Chicago early next month. Associate athletic director Marc Boehm says the former football coach will be able to provide input, but won't have a vote along with the other athletic directors until July 1, 2011.
The Pokes need to keep winning.
Yes, Boone Pickens' renovations have made State a much more attractive football entity. Yes, the Bedlam relationship — with the legislature watching, OU will be hard-pressed to leave behind OSU — is nice insurance for the Cowboys.
But there are no sure things. Not when your all-time football record is 10 games below .500. Not when you draw barely half as many fans as your chief rivals, despite setting school attendance records. Not when the roulette wheel creates fewer and fewer openings.
Which is why OSU must keep winning.
ESPN's David Ubben has six games that should earn some respect for the conference.
6) Oct. 16: Texas at Nebraska
Oh, yes. Put it this way: Nebraska's exit will be a much bigger deal if they leave as Big 12 champions than if they leave as second-place finishers in the North. If I'm Texas or Oklahoma and don't want the league to be perceived as significantly weaker, I'm cheering hard for Missouri to win the North. Texas has the best chance to hand the Huskers a conference loss, followed closely by Texas A&M and Missouri.
More 2009 stats from Barking Carnival.
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